Loans of up to £100,000

Business Loans Scotland

Small and medium sized businesses in the Midlothian area could be eligible for loans of up to £100,000 as part of a recently launched funding programme delivered by Business Loans Scotland.

Applications are welcome from various organisations

Applications are welcome from limited companies, social enterprises and partnerships with four or more partners, including those along the Borders Railway Corridor in Midlothian or businesses whose services benefit from the railway . Sole traders and partnerships with three or fewer partners can also submit applications for loans of over £25,000. The funding can be used for working capital and to help buy plant, equipment and business property.

The loans provide gap funding

The loans are intended to provide gap funding, and are only available where other public sector funding (including the Business Loans Scotland’s contribution), come to no more than 50% of the total funding package.

Businesses benefitting from the Borders Railway are encouraged to apply

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for economic development, Councillor Russell Imrie encouraged eligible organisations to apply. He said: “This funding could transform a business or social enterprise, bringing wider economic benefits to the county as a whole, including new jobs. We want to support businesses and organisations as much as possible, which is why I’d like to get the message out to as wide an audience as possible, including people that may be, for example, planning a business along the Borders Railway corridor or offering a service benefitting from the railway line.”

Get advice from our team

Businesses applying need to demonstrate that they have explored all other available funding options. This includes personal funds and borrowing, bank funding and the potential for equity from venture capitalists. Support and advice is available from Business Gateway and Midlothian Council’s economic development team to help local businesses reach this stage.

More information about sectors likely to be eligible

Applicants are also required to demonstrate what their business or business project will bring to the local or Scottish economy.  As a guide, the following business sectors are likely to be eligible for support: manufacturing, services to manufacturing, construction, wholesale, transport and distribution, software, agriculture linked to farm diversification, tourism and tourism infrastructure. 

Other businesses may be considered

Certain other businesses may also be considered, such as restaurants which support local tourism; retail activities in isolated settlements where there is no suitable alternative provider or which have a tourism focus; specialist business activities where key skills could be lost, and some service based businesses. Those which are unlikely to be eligible for support include businesses involved in the sale of motor vehicles, real estate, speculative property development, professional services, social and personal services and local services.

Midlothian Physiotherapy received a loan

One of the first Midlothian businesses to benefit from a previous loans programme, the East of Scotland Investment Fund, which preceded the Business Loans Scotland fund, is Midlothian Physiotherapy. The firm, based at Hardengreen Business Park, has expanded its business and now provides physio, occupational health and training services throughout East Lothian, Midlothian and Central Scotland.

The company has expanded

Paul Bryce, one of three partners, said: “We received the loan in June 2011, this support allowed us to progress rapidly with our growth plans for the business. We used the loan for not only business development purposes but also R & D and working capital.

“This was an enormous help to us in growing our company, we have steadily increased our revenue streams and increased staff numbers which is also a benefit to the wider community.”

Procure Wizard successfully applied previously

Other businesses that have benefited include the innovative e-procurement firm, Procure Wizard. They paid off their loan early and the business is doing exceptionally well, having exceeded its targets. The company was also awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2016. 

Stewart Brewing's loan helped it purchase land

Local company Stewart Brewing was also awarded a loan to assist with the purchase of land at Bilston Glen for a new purpose built brewery.  The new brewery is now operational and the business is continuing to do very well, their loan having been repaid early.

Ingenza Ltd is another loan success story

Ingenza Ltd is a world leader in the application of industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology, providing efficient, scalable bioprocesses for the manufacture of chemicals, biologics, pharmaceuticals and biofuels, from sustainable sources.  They received an ESIF loan, have grown steadily and are a very strong business in their field.

How to apply

In the picture is Paul Bryce, the director of Midlothian Physiotherapy, on the left with his two partners Kevin Dewar and Alistair Matson.

19 Sep 2017